Andrew La Tona is a songwriter / producer / multi-instrumentalist from Toronto, Canada. Active since 2001, Andrew has been a part of many different projects and genres, and is currently expressing himself as an alternative / experimental artist.
Released earlier this month, "Human" is Andrew's second full-length album in four years. Centered around the distaste for politicians and elite of today, this album boldly says what we've all felt grumbling inside us for a while now. The themes of fear, resentment, resistance and lack-of-fulfillment run strong through these eight tracks.
The lead single, "Power and Prowess" is sort of a story of distaste, sung loud and passionately overtop of an incredibly driving and powerful rock track with lots of danceability. It's about being fed up with the arrogance of the ruling class and their influence on our every day lives and the desire to be free from it.
"Human" is an album for everyone. It may be classified as an Alternative record, but the pop sensibility runs deep, world and latin rhythmic and melodic influences make numerous showcases, and Andrew's depth of musical influences shape this fresh independent release of the summer.
"I began writing Human in 2016 while I was in Costume Party with Andy Wiseman before I decided to leave the band and focus on writing more material on my own. I wanted to write and record anything that came naturally to me, and after a while, I realized I had a political album on my hands. Prior to this, I had written songs like "Want" (2014) and "I'll Bring You Down" (2015) which were of similar nature, but it was never really a full-time topic of mine. This time around I set out with a purpose."
Mercy Flight is a project fronted by Steve York, a veteran of Toronto’s vibrant music scene. While Nirvana and Pearl Jam were popularizing grunge music in Seattle, Steve and his band SST were pioneering the grunge rock scene in Toronto. Mercy Flight is the natural evolution of that earlier sound with his current collaborators Katey Morley (Gypsy Soul), Dan Miller (Valerie Dour) Tony Rabalao & Tom McKay (Joy Drop) and Ricky Tillo (Lady Gaga). All powerhouse musicians in their own right, together they form the foundation of Mercy Flight’s indie folk sound while giving it a modern sonic twist.
Heavy Eyes is the debut album from Canadian indie-rock trio Basement Revolver. There’s an air of weariness pervading the album, with the sleepy title Heavy Eyes summing up a general exhaustion right down to the bone, as well as hinting at a heavier direction as they deftly merge 90s infused indie rock with fuzzy dreamy pop and poignant, yearning lyrics. Unable to disguise the emotion in her voice, songwriter Chrisy Hurn shares intimate stories and personal wounds from her past, revealing a deeply affecting and rewarding set of songs.
Bringing together the talents of Chrisy Hurn (vocals, guitar), Nimal Agalawatte (bass, synth) and Brandon Munro (drums), the band hail from Hamilton, Ontario and were named Basement Revolver due to Chrisy’s basement apartment, rather than any trigger happy leanings. Their ascent to the spotlight has been a steady trajectory, capitalising on the success of their debut single “Johnny” in 2016. The track garnered endorsements from DIY Magazine and Exclaim! as well as respected tastemakers Gold Flake Paint, who hailed it a “‘favourite song of the year” contender. They had stumbled across a sound that is capable of stripping listeners of inhibition, yet heavy hitting enough to leave a lasting impression.
“Knocking” is probably the heaviest song emotionally on the album. As Chrisy explains, “I often still can’t sing it without crying.” Written after writing her family a long letter coming clean about her past, it left her feeling vulnerable and raw, ashamed of some of the things she had done and worried about being a disappointment. Chrisy continues,“I basically kept telling myself that I was garbage, broken, unlovable, used and a whole other slur of things. I think that knocking was my way out of that dark place.” But when she came clean she felt forgiveness and acceptance, in a place where she could move on and forgive herself.
In a relatively short time, Basement Revolver have successfully encapsulated the yearning and hopefulness of their generation, whilst harnessing a unique, yet familiar soundscape.
"A Reminder" is a 7 song self-produced EP that features rich sonics and engaging songwriting. Influenced by The Cure, Failure, Radiohead, and Mogwai, A Reminder is focused on bringing quality tracks and powerful live performances.
Hold up to the Fire, Echo Nebraska’s sophomore effort sees the Vancouver folk-rock outfit expand on their reputation of combining soul-strung acoustic songs with melodic pop sensibilities. They were determined to write music that was universally accessible and affirming, focusing on introspective themes of love, loss, and perseverance.
The mission to spread positivity to a wider audience stems from heartbreak within the band itself. In September 2016, bassist and founding member, Gunn Park passed away after a battle with cancer. Even though this was a difficult time for the band, they focused on channeling this loss in a positive direction. This is apparent in the album’s first single ‘Follow Me’. As songwriter Devan Christodoulou puts it, “The song is all about life and how it’s okay to rely on each other to get us through the tough times.”
Devan, Gunn, and multi-instrumentalist Andy Schichter started Echo Nebraska in the fall of 2014, with the release of a music video for ‘Hey, Allison’. Within a week of the video premiering, CBC Music added the video to their list of Best New Music Videos. Their debut EP, Send the Ships, would eventually chart across several campus stations, reaching a high of #3 on CJSF.
The band spent the next couple of years touring Send the Ships across Canada, with drummer Mike Lauder, violinist Carly Frey, and bassist Dan Ponich. After showcasing at BreakOut West 2016 in Regina, SK and CMW 2017 in Toronto, ON, Echo Nebraska turned their attention to writing the songs that would eventually make up the new record. The title track, ‘Hold up to the Fire’ was written in honor of Park, weeks after his passing. Though Park never got to perform on Hold up to the Fire, his presence is felt throughout the record.
Echo Nebraska returned to the studio this past winter with producer Jeff Dawson (Daniel Powter, Holly McNarland, The Dudes), who helped hone in on the direction the band was taking with their new collection of songs. Colin Stewart (Dan Mangan, Yukon Blonde, New Pornographers) was brought on to mix the album.
Ultimately, despite the loss of their friend and bandmate, Echo Nebraska pushed their musical direction forward on Hold up to the Fire, resonant with messages of hope, love, and the power of human relationships.
A combination of retro aesthetics, enduring lyrics and alt-rock grit.
The best music happens when artists refuse to remain stuck in their own comfort zones and creative boxes. Whenever this happens, they are free to give full range to their vision, and they can really come up with something that’s groundbreaking and personable. This is certainly the case here with Tommy Red and his brand new EP release, “I Wanna Be Exploited.”
Marva Von Theo is an Electropop / Synthwave duo formed in 2016 by the Athens-based singer-songwriter Marva Voulgari and the Vienna-based composer-producer Theo Foinidis.
Their Debut Album “Dream within a Dream” was released early in 2018. The 12 songs on their Album, lean towards an electronic sound that incorporates a variety of influences ranging from the music of the 80’s until today. Darkwave sounds, Jazz harmonies, Rock and Dance drum beats resonate together and mature into something darkly romantic.